Submission Guidelines

Friday 29 June 2012

Misti Velvet Rainwater-Lites-


In the chill he sleeps loud
beside me in the rented bed
breathing through a mask.
He brought me an orange
and black coffee for breakfast.
His thick fingers dance deft
on my back until I fall
into dreams of terrible snow.
In San Antonio it's late May
and the sun is my mother
screaming birds from the sky.
We park on a hill and look
at the ugly skeletons,
tomorrow's unimaginative mansions.
It's agreed. We both want a garage
and a room for our books.
Our smiles are so much older
than photographs suggest.

No Romance

He was drunk and I was drunk and I had to convince him and he still wasn't convinced and I told him it was because I wasn't blonde and he told me that was cheap and finally we attempted a kiss but he didn't really want to kiss me he wanted to suck my tongue and it fucking hurt and I sucked his dick but it remained flaccid and I wanted to be fucked and I was fucked but only in my mind which is the worst place and the best place but in this instance it was definitely the worst place and I asked him to go down on me but I was on the rag and he wasn't down with that not in the case of me because I was not blonde and I was cheap and I was married and not to him but he spanked my ass until it was red and I screamed DADDY and later we watched a bunch of rabbits kill people and we laughed at Kris Kross and I bought him a steak and I heard him puke and he stayed with me while I tried to shit and we sat in a bar and he told me about how all the men congregated around the love of his life or one of the loves of his life (a blonde, natch) but there's more to it than hair color he likes his women well-read but sane yet really bubbly and shit and the biggest no no of all was when I got drunk and serenaded him with various crap ass songs the worst being “Hold Me Now” and asked him for a kiss and then got impatient and licked his face and years of friendship were null and void in the ugly whore face of such egregious error and I missed him I loved him for a long fucking time but now I don't and that's the end.

Libido Will Not Be Televised
Give her the nice Coca-Cola lotion cock and your stopwatch heart
for xmas for valentine's day for national clitoris day just because just because.
Chew him up concise and swallow with sparkling water to show you care.
Keep it clean and concealed inside a white pastry box.
Smile your bland share your beige at church and the Rotary Club meeting.
Safe inside the monkey house giddy screams and wild flings are allowed
but hide the cameras from curious fingers and careful with the belt
and piping hot white cream gravy can cause blisters to form
and San Francisco will never be the capital of America.
Meditation on Duluth.
A study in polite contrasts.
Shake the sweaty hand that feeds you raspberry balsamic chicken breasts
and olive oil drizzled asparagus spears.
The magic word is discretion.
A paper shredder is a wise investment.
If she leaves evidence behind
you can burn it
but you cannot
burn her.
Those kind of days
are over. 

Wednesday 27 June 2012

Gillian Prew-

Essence of a Protracted Wound

Falling from the fade of a burst sun
my bride rides a drowned wind,
honeymoons on the viral grave
where the dumb mouths of the dead,
narrow with nostalgia and lavender lies,
snap in a fragrant rage.
Her liminal love with its dug arms
scoops the red roots of the tight trees
where her best wedding was throttled and laid,
and her lit loss burns in her brain
scorching the slow madhouse of her days.


               Poem in June

               Sunlight worn child stuck in her stain;
present and poor in the long dust
her heart beats like birds drowned

and drowned
in the womb’s breath blood.

On the shore of her mind
wind puffs a stiffening tide born
and born
in the levelling loud.

Sweet with despair like a buckling bride
time blooms brief the spell of her skin,

the size of her grief a dwindling wreath
on the sore summer seed of her grave.

Gillian Prew can also be found here:

Monday 25 June 2012

John Swain-


The cover morn 
lifts in a light
the shape of prey
afeared to sleep
through the kill.
I am learning
to only serve you
with my life
like a cupbearer
sips for poison
with a loyalty
never questioned.
Birds strayed
beyond sky gates
like the pool
of a fountain
where I drew water
for your bathing.

Heaven to the Low

A recess suggested
behind the juniper
by a friend disguised
with occasional love
we could not fully share.
I dug at the stones
worn with age
like a man
to hide disappointment
and unfreedom
in the limited way
we must converse.
Sick and weakened
I cannot draw
the same pull
from the black thread
connecting like a beacon kite
every heaven to the low.

John Swain lives in Louisville, Kentucky. His most recent chapbook, White Vases, was published by Crisis Chronicles Press.

Saturday 23 June 2012

David McLean-

like life starts

life starts when it wants to,

a kitten in a fat stomach and death is an old man
in some abyss, his cavern full of missing
and all the needful things, a gray cloak
thrown over his cold and bony shoulders,
a serpent and its insane gratifications,
cold cheeseburgers and zombie skateboards;

but what matters sometimes is kittens who cost nothing:

cancer like a soldier is standing sentry
in front of all the skeletons and memories
where school was, before all the several empty
sexual heavens, like daytime soaps
you can watch because you have to,
because the girls' gym teacher turned into
a panther too, and not everything you need
can be scribbled on a convenient card

because life starts whenever it wants to

like a party in a graveyard,
corpses and telephones and absences:
a kitten in her mother's fat stomach
is life and time to touch it;
and words are the dead
with all our nothingness

the leaves fall

the leaves fall like nothing does,

like tiny drops of distributive justice
wherever that lives

not in the loveless mulch where worms grow fat

corporate bodies, all the absences incorporated
like the impossible possibility of courtly love
actually getting to mean anything in particular

beyond the bizarre evils of medieval history,

beyond Kurt and Courtney dissected again
on television, moving pictures
on the still scream, screening again today,
timeless suicide and tiny bits of night
in every immature body not yet milked
for the utile blood;

some leaves fall too often, just like tears do,

injustice is nothing in particular,
nothing meaning much

blue and gray

and what is happening should be shown

blue and gray, sound just supple static
saying nothing

and tiny lights are firefly nighttime

centuries away in other countries
where nothing was once;

what is happening should be blue and gray

and aesthetic, happening once
like something to love

all that summer

all that summer things must have happened

though i do not remember them
like the flesh would remember every uncharted

and the meat in the shambles all this is

might give birth to centuries of flies
like bees born inside dead lions
just to be a fatuous jar of treacle,

a dream to gross out all the maybe

angels. and a gay man in a velvet suit
did say we made a lovely couple
in 1987, though i do not know

if he pouted altruistically

like he did in your poem when he said that;
all that summer things might
have happened, maybe they did

carving smiles

they carve smiles in modern morons

with an apparent ax;

it has been said that the rain is given

like love is.

(most things mean nothing)

Thursday 21 June 2012

Michael Mc Aloran, (III)-


solace/ empty
night of long earth(en)

spat once
silenced/ discarded

spat once
till hearse of light breaking from out of winds

dis-carriage of rib
cage of sun

long drag of the without
seething of abundance

I sky/ elapse/ erased/ multitude
and the break-spun

shadowing/ passing
a death mask’s final caress


clear cut
from the without

break of spell
click-clack go the bones of I/ eye


skinned appeal till dreaming yet
a blackened sky

nocturne of silent/ emptily

and the fleshed

breath of meat/ breath of stone
none the less

bankrupt of
emptying my fuck upon frozen orchids


in rip of eye
till escapade of none


I unclench the filth the walls
of teeth

a streak of piss
and a blind hand of

less than ever more than yet or less or more

in guillotine of stark
I reek

of rotting roses
dusted with amber deaths

till claimed-

black earth
toothless emptiness


death clasp of eye silenced
and the asked of

the sound
of none

vicissitude of
I cloaked in pelt of dreaming

dead/ alive
gash of
gouged throughout

I rain/ reign/ rain in the sunlight
till claimed
morass of breathless

here now or/…

excess of winds

(to mark the hard scar’s teeth
of asking)

stillness there
butchered the roving eye

I in-laughter

my heart laps the breaking currents

here now or/ there

Tuesday 19 June 2012

Craig Podmore-


It’s not a mirror.
Is it art,
Just celluloid,
Trivial, menial diets
Of cutting life into scenes,
Edited, primed and methodically
Structured like murder.
It’s a seismic process of conjuring compositions
Irrelevant to the mundane prescriptions of life.
The screen is xenophobic. Almost, totalitarian.
Jungian dualities in the vain of stimuli –
Victims sat bandaged before the canvas of a moving image,
Their interval requires an oxygen mask and a refill of their intravenous drip.
The projection eliminates fear, perhaps develops a psychosis of delusional cruelties that become a replication of the visual act. Sexualities are awakened,
Genitals ruptured to the impossible beauty of the sirens that win the hearts of
The Proletariat boys and girls. The depression of reality diluted by the Omnipotent stars of the show. The screen is not a screen but an altar to deter
The scars of personal heresies. The dark. The spotlight. Such an abyss! The Puddle of dreams within a frame, singing, dancing, crying and aching
The cameraman turns and seeks the man with a gun in a shopping mall,
The offender will shoot and kill innocent lives and it will be recorded.
The screen decays into a scapegoat, a devil even.
Everybody will blame the television,
The screen and not the fingers that pulled the trigger.
Reality TV is the hearse of our abundant crapulence.
It is anthropologically backward,
“I wanna shoot that guy down just like Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver.”
It’s not a mirror.
Is it art.
Judas Boulevard

Concrete stars of
Cast of runaway regrets
And a stage for
Iwo Jima vets.
Eva Braun divas
On sets of
Aryan shores of
Deluding the plastic
Cruel thespians
Of hate:
Prosy and pernicious
Towards all
Christian pornographers.
The phallic lens
That ejaculates you
To fame;
Sinner celluloid
Perpetrate guillotine
Scenes of maimed
Damsels in godlessness.
Through wombs of blitz and glamour –
Queen Mary of Mansfield;
Medium wide shot of her
Own ‘death show’,
Live for the Tinseltown
Sappho, Dido, Monroe,
Sit in the front row
For anti-septic rapes
Of political pillage.
“Happy Birthday Mr President”
Intercut with genocide,
The atomic bomb, Dachau,
Mao, Stalin, Pearl Harbour,
Dildos, Pro-life, Jim Jones,
The Somme, the Alamo,
The emperor Nero,
Proletariat zero, the man,
The ape, Manila massacre
And the ever-increasing
Tax rates.
(Jump cuts back to bourgeois ignorance)
The hidden clip found in Oswald’s rifle:
“Happy Birthday my beautiful liars.”
Behind the red curtains
Hung on abattoir meat hooks
There lies this Judas Boulevard;
A long road of despair and
Of insolent butchery –
A studio of narcissistic fucks.

Thus Spoke Tinseltown

Star names erased on the boulevard,
Replaced by the likes of Schopenhauer, Mao, Jung, Goebbels and Kierkegaard.
The Hollywood sign torn down,
Instead, A Christian temple as great as the White House stands before beautiful Tinseltown.
Guts in animal fur, seizures of the aesthetic profoundly
Foam at the mouths as dead liberals contort in a macabre dance;
A vomiting parade, a syphilis extravagance of a burning economy.
Nothing to exist but flesh that is striving to excess,
Although, that excess is in fact their blind desire to suffer,
Such suffering becomes knowledge, such death-defining truths
As the mob of fundamental destruction film each other
For the voyeurism of the masses.
Only to find that the films become that of a ‘snuff’ movie,
The hangings, the shootings, stabbings, rapes and mass murder –
Alas! Becomes the reel of ‘real’ under the veneer of fame;
Nothing to blame but the animal and the detrimental intellect.
Wagner concertos play to the empty streets of Hollywood
As its stomach rumbles and begins to eat itself like
The Aryan philosophy that it is.

Monday 18 June 2012

Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal-

The Face Eaters
I arrive at the secret destination.
The face eaters question me.
They are cold and direct with their
queries.   They make me cry
when they grit their gold teeth.
The face eaters are always hungry.
The eat the faces of men, women,
and children.   I don’t want my face
eaten.  I like it the way it is.  I don’t
think altering my face would be a
good thing.  The face eaters sharpen
their teeth.  I feel fatigue setting in.
I start having a hallucination.
My eyes look like fruit, like candy,
and the face eaters want to eat
out my eyes.  They want to eat
the soft tissue of my eyelids.  I try
to reason with the face eaters.
I can’t find happiness.  There is too
much temptation for them.  They
want both of my eyes and ears.
They would love to eat my brain.
No Shoulders

I met a woman who had no shoulders.
Her shirt sleeves would hang limply.
She would stand awkwardly with her
head and neck bowing to the center
of her body.   Her voice was soft and
delicate.  She walked barefoot most
days.  The bottom of her feet were
dirty and rough.   She wanted to lift
her neck, but it would bow down
along with her head.  Saliva would
drip unswallowed.  She wanted to
sprout wings and fly to the sun.   She
could not find peace of mind.  She
wanted to sink to the bottom of
the sea to a non-existing lost city.
Her lips were moist with spit.  She
tried singing herself to sleep, but
she could not stand the sound of
her voice.  The words would come
out all crazy.  Her lips quivering
in search of the perfect song.

Saturday 16 June 2012

Neil Ellman-

Earth Breathe

Earth Breathe
a breath
of blue
green poetry
of air
in fire
your moment
in the sun.



Somewhere in the stars
among the bleached-white
bones of prophecy
where planets go to die
like doddering old men
spittle on their mouths
and the gnarr
of desperate words
we seek patterns
in chaotic stones
the scattered debris
of light and dark
and finding none
discover heresy.


Some Other Sun

He who would be
some other sun than this
one who babbles
an old man and his
mistress moon
she anticipates
his words…some
not of anything
other than the spots
on a bubbling face
he knows
she knows
of age
blistering age
some other sun
that he would be.

Neil Ellman lives and writes in New Jersey (USA).  Fast approaching his 500th published poem, his work appears in print and online journals throughout the world, from Australia to Zimbabwe.  The latest of his eight chapbooks, Convergence and Conversion, is now available from The Knives Forks and Spoons Press.

Thursday 14 June 2012

Mercedes Webb-Pullman-

Pulling the Temple Down
Grapes fruit prolifically,
distended fleshy globes whose seeds
will never quicken.  Air above a desert,
tendrils curl before they fall still
aware of  bitter failure.
Listen: like fowl and fish,
no life can spring from this.
We rush away from each other
not waiting to ripen; the flush
of our first bloom frenetic. The inevitable end
falls so softly our minds deny the ugliness
of loss as it touches our lips
brushes by like heavy morning dew.
Cowards who choose a late stand
we tiptoe behind someone else’s mask,
solitary prisoners who follow the queen
in Cuzco’s altar carvings.
The god is nothing like before. Quick death
bothers him. Fall means slow extinction;
from the first he knows himself, plays to
that eternal gallery of ever-changing stars.
The wheel turns to our 15 minute fame
then Bau grows morose
and dances us to shadowed pools.
I’ve danced with someone like her.
Wrapped in shining steps, I floated
in slow water.
I won’t pretend acceptance;
to be dead, to be old, with everything
behind me. I sit at the feet of my past,
remember Samson, how he lost
everything in the end, and nothing.
Villainous heroes, mountains of arctic ice
monsters that calve in the mind;
love will always betray.
Was he really a villain, even to you?
Couldn’t it end there?
But listen –
he let go and gathered them all in,
submitted and died. If you built altars
it was before he imploded blind
on the print of your life, from the frantic cosmos
which judges submission and failure.
As you drove him through the temple
each head that turned tugged him
down and under until, defiant
he leapt to the head of the line.

Tuesday 12 June 2012

Chris Guidon-

I Fell in Love When She Looked Down

I fell in love when she looked down.
Some memory snagging
and pulling her away.

You'll see me picking roses in the grave-
yards. Or
drunk, fighting in the gutters.

The soft scent
that blossoms at the bow
of the nape.

The warmth of a being
curled up in my arms.
The stars pulsing softly at the window.

Shadows hang
from the wonderment of woman
like prayer flags on the mountain-side.

My love is a sober lust,
my lust is a flickering candle
Molten wax on milky white skin.


I see you now. In the flickering bathroom mirror. You
fight for air, and cough blood like pigeon shit. Damn the flow.
The eyes losing light. Like a sun. Not exploding wholly, super-
nova,  shuddering off into nothingness. But slowly. Quietly.

Shamefully. I take a blade and cut the blue vein. Abort the child.
Her voice bleeds through the door and the blade is only a dove
again. And the years settle back, into the furrows
of my eyes. Translucent skin holding nothing in. Tears. Age. Regret.


We're nearly invisible to the seagulls.
As the gods once were, to the cave dwellers.

Violence is an initiation. A progression.
To touch that old world is what fascinates.

Children in their hats and gloves, one hand
in a parents' one hand making an offering,

not skywards to the distant angels, but down
to the cut-away spaces below.

Those glass eyes, searching for movement.
Waiting. Remembering.

Sunday 10 June 2012

Bas de Gids (II)-


Dom Gabrielli- (II)

night nostalgias

where in the night you roam, in the same attic where the professor impressed the scientific world with slideshows and wit, with theses and smiles, you hold the keys and you melt them on the funeral pyre where you placed yourself once, every particle of self burning, fumes of leaving

each word carried is an element of beginning but as we know you can begin anywhere. there are no rules even if good taste would be better. shades must be shades in these shadow lands where Ancient Greeks carved up the sacrificed limb of beauty, offering blood for water, muscle for hope, on the side of a sloping quarry

rules must be instinct driven. there is nothing to be applied. theory is dead. so you learn and you learn til the words become blood, become the blood which begins which begets which draws from the earth its iron redness

it was a long parchment, the same ones the professor used for his explanations, for his theorems and experiments. you tore one off. it was late. you were smoking furiously in the cellar. the wine bottles were dancing. you had a girlfriend, a poetess, you ravished her in the dank bat-infested alcoves

those were the days of the anxiety of influence, deconstruction ruled. the poetess quizzed your pen, she dismantled your bravura. you slapped wickedness on the walls. you wrote directly there, where she could not read the codes. you wore your body as a joke. you undressed her prudery, her skirts dried in the black sun

there was no punctuation, the lines were a meter long. the black pen and the black voice, the pyre, the pyre of night the pyre of your legs dancing in between the arrogant vagina's cerebral craving

Dom Gabrielli studied literature at Edinburgh, Paris and New York Universities. He has translated widely including published works by Bataille,  Leiris and Jabes. In the early 1990’s, he left the academic world to travel and devote himself to writing. Gabrielli has published two books to date. The Eyes of a Man (2009), his first book of poetry, and The Parallel Body (2010), which he recently translated into French (Les Corps Paralleles, 2012). Gabrielli travels extensively from his home in Salento, Italy, where he produces extra virgin olive oil.

Friday 8 June 2012

Michael Mc Aloran- 'Untitled #12'

'Untitled #12'-Michael Mc Aloran

Dom Gabrielli-

morning nostalgias

unclutter this mind, pray undo it altogether. break down the walls of this person impudent enough to still hold a name which desires, which begets, which conquers , which imposters with all the signifying magnets, which invades all the particles of fire which burn, which burn my brother, which burn within, which burn without

where are your fingers, your cigarettes, your baby lips, your smiles, where are the storms which never quite carry, which never deliver, if only the dusts of deserts, the powders of my poems

only half of me is left and that half is dead, in permanent resusitation, aching hands and burning sands. what then is this middle, this inner-outer space, where the molten key, what then are you who slide between time spheres without pain

i know the way to blue. i have wandered the same breezes, the same smokes, late in the midnight diminishing, when the poems awake, the fellow pens, the distant brothers and sisters who tell us what they find

it is not so much an uncluttering. that is just the prelude. to let your voices speak. to see the memories of this windswept mind. to see you again. smiling in your wheelchair. holding my hand, shaking shaking in late spring hallway by the laurel bough and terracottas of fragrant basils

smooth is time perhaps. but only flattened, conquered, dispatched to another dimension. there is no ego without time. you can only become other in the releasing, in the becoming photograph of your person. let me be, let me go. come to me sweet memory of you, dead you, tomorrow

liberated i speak to you, a miniscule freedom, won, in battles with the demons of searchlights and goons unaware of the straighjackets they wear as uniform. i can fail tomorrow in the selfsame way. but is there a tomorrow anymore

where are you silver leaves and open boughs, where are you dead grasses and copulating lizards, black snakes and cistern geckoes, where are you turquoise tramontana blues and heavy sirocco grey-whites, where are you hands full of weeds, black nails and garlic fingers, where are you heart of goodness, song of nothing, wind of blue, wind of you, where did you go, where does this end, where are the coils of smoke which circle the sunflowers of reason, where are the open minds of rampant peapods, where is the scathing cactus irony of summer, where are you my nudity, my pain

Dom Gabrielli studied literature at Edinburgh, Paris and New York Universities. He has translated widely including published works by Bataille,  Leiris and Jabes. In the early 1990’s, he left the academic world to travel and devote himself to writing. Gabrielli has published two books to date. The Eyes of a Man (2009), his first book of poetry, and The Parallel Body (2010), which he recently translated into French (Les Corps Paralleles, 2012). Gabrielli travels extensively from his home in Salento, Italy, where he produces extra virgin olive oil.

Wednesday 6 June 2012

Candi V. Auchterlonie-

Ghost Hands

I faltered at the ledge 
searching for the words
a map of how 
to follow or lead
the pages spilled over 
felt as though it was never endingly
white over white, the shades of it grew impossibly light, 
sheet by sheet
pinioned wings, angels 
in gulls
the spilled honey milk of feathers 
of that pouring, letting down,
made even more foreign.
the squid ink furls like smoke 
the ought to have said words 
stinging the hived breast.
luggage lost, silk and pearls, 
gold bars,
wealth sinking under the salt  
weight of this pacific blue,

meaning to be 
herring bone 
the man under the sea 
so thoughtfully
writing the world above at a desk 
some wreckage, stone dead, no,
he wasn't,  
only dormant.
Some lodestone, polarity 
to the eyes of him 
the metal of her.
nightmares, ghost hands 
mannequin dislocation
require re-assembly, the digits do.

type written love poems about april  
and death's blossoms fill the velvet green air
above the suspension 
of air over ocean,
impressing pregnancies, along the hills, some turn to stillborn 
grief, amber light over ashes, and yet from this, still comes some life 
some joy..

They wonder what it is like 
to touch that red, watch it leave 
where it left, sticky bittersweet, the love, the longing-
as the invisible ink does go, from the pages 
flittering freely over that ledge 
this surely is all the pulped tree ever hoped for
in all those rings of unrippled stillness,  
a sea to carry it out a while...

...Startle the idle sway
some verve to kick again.
What waking awaits this? 
Was it just a dream all along...
Before the ledge.
Not under, not over, not in nor out 
still there, we're still there, impossibly 
delicately, still.

Tuesday 5 June 2012

Leila A. Fortier


Sensed the gray
Clouds and then tasted the rain~
The cumulus effect of your vacuous being~
Through the rapid succession of psychosomatic
Pleas~ I became deliriously asymmetrical~ Steeped
  Into a soul labyrinth of ritual~ I traversed your meridian
For some follicle of truth~ You were a master ventriloquist
Torn from a mystery~ Grazing upon your angular paradox
I fed from the pantheon of smoking indie eyes~ Estranged
By the slippage of your layered disguise~ The result
Of this synthesis only absolute nothingness
…And the point of no return…

~The Haunting~

Knew not the
Weight nor consequence
Of this haunting~ No fathoming the
Euphoric agony of this evisceration~ This
Severing of self- Inhaled into the vapor of your
Apparition~ Inducted into your holy rite of confusion~
I am but the perfected nothing of your conjurings~ The
Summoned uninvited~ The kneeling unseen of all your
Abandon imaginings~ Cast into your world of quiet
Delirium as the neglected byproduct of some
Unfathomable grace~ This sacred
Void that has become my
Prison of liberation~
Where I am but
A silent
…Your every exhale…

~Profound Unexplained~

Come like a
Magnetic whisper~
The vanishing ink of an
Invisible tattoo~ A space unmarked
With punctuation~ Missives in Morse code
Stirring me into inexpressible delirium~ No
Sleeping to be had within this waking dream
Your Kafkaesque vicissitudes tinged with
Mystery~ The limpid luster of the
Profound unexplained

 Leila A. Fortier is a poet, artist, and photographer currently residing on the remote island of Okinawa Japan. Her unique visual poetry is the specially crafted formation of abstract designs, often accompanied by her own multi-medium forms of art, photography, and spoken performance. Much of her work has been translated into French, Italian, Spanish, Arabic, German, Hindi and Japanese in a rapidly growing project to raise global unity and understanding through the cultural diversity of poetry and literature. A complete listing of her published works can be found at: